Skip to main content

Full text of "A Biography of William MacGillivray"

See other formats


STOP 



Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world by JSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 
purposes. 

Read more about Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate-jstor/individuals/early- 
journal-content . 



JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 
contact support@jstor.org. 



474 Recent Literature. [o"t k 

his conservatisms in such matters is admirable, and has resulted in a solid 
foundation for the addition of future increments to our knowledge of 
South Carolina birds. — J. A. A. 

Scott's Ornithology of Patagonia. Part II. — We have recently re- 
ceived Part II of the volume devoted to Ornithology in the Reports of 
the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896-1899, ' issued 
March 3, 1910. Part I (pp. 1-112) was issued in 1904, the long interval 
between the publication of Parts I and II being due mainly to Mr. Scott's 
long continued ill health. 2 As part I was noticed at some length in this 
journal (Vol. XXII, Jan., 1905, pp. 96, 97), in which the origin and general 
character of the work was fully stated, it is sufficient to say that Part II 
conforms to the standard established in Part I, and deals with the families 
Procellariidse, Laridae, Stercorariidae, Chionididae, Thinocorythidse, and 
Charadriidse" (= Hsematopodidse, Aphrizidae, Charadriidae, Scolopacidse). 
The nomenclature and classification are naturally the same as in Sharpe's 
'Handlist of Birds.' As in Part I, the bibliographic citations are very 
full down to about 1902, but we miss references to the reports of the later 
Antarctic expeditions, as the Scotch, French, German and Swedish, pub- 
lished from about 1904 to 1908, and to Godman's recent 'Monograph of 
the Petrels.' References are made, however, to a few important works 
and papers published asJate as 1909, and others in 1907. 

The illustrations are mainly text figures of heads, feet, wings, tails, etc., 
but comprise about a dozen full-length figures, drawn by H. Gronvold, 
and mostly printed as uncolored full-page plates, numbered consecutively 
with the text illustrations as figures. 

The work forms an exceedingly useful compendium of Patagonian 
ornithology, and we hope that the manuscript was left by the author in 
such shape that its completion will be only a matter of time. — J. A. A. 

A Biography of William MacGillivray. 3 — The personality of William 
MacGillivray is of special interest to American ornithologists through his 

' J. Plerpont Morgan Publication Fund | — | Reports of | The Princeton 
University Expeditions | to Patagonia, 1896-1899 | J. B. Hatcher, in Charge | 
Edited by j William B. Scott I Blair Professor of Geology and Palaeontology, 
Princeton University | Volume II — Ornithology | Part II. | Procellariidse — 
Charadriidae | By | William Earl Dodge Scott I Princeton University [ associated 
with | R. Bowdler Sharpe | British Museum of Natural History | Princeton, 
N. J. | The University I Stuttgard | E. Schweizerbartsche Yerlangshandlung 
(E. Nogele) | 1910 — 4to, pp. 113-344, fig. 67-174. "Issued March 3, 1910." 
2 Mr. Scott, we regret to announce, died August 23, 1910. (See below, p. 486.) 
a Life of | William MacGillivray | M. A., L. L. D., P. R. S. E.; Ornithologist; 
Professor of I Natural History, Marischal College and I University, Aberdeen | 
By William MacGillivray, W. S. | Author of ' 'Rob Lindsay and his School," etc. I 
With a Scientific Appreciation | by J. Arthur Thomson | Regius Professor of 
Natural History, Aberdeen University I With Illustrations | "In the eye of 
Nature he has lived." | London | John Murray, Albemarle Street, W. | 1910 — 8vo, 
pp. xv +222, and 12 half-tone plates. 10s 6d. net. 



Vol 'i?iO VI1 ] Recent Literature. 475 

association with John James Audubon in the preparation of his great 
work on the Birds of North America. The story of this relationship has 
often been told, but never with the fullness and detail here given. As is 
well known, Audubon was indebted to MacGillivray for his classification 
and nomenclature, and it is here stated MacGillivray himself wrote the 
' Synopsis,' published in 1839. 

The author of the present work, a namesake of the great naturalist, 
says in the introduction: "No detailed biography of Professor MacGilli- 
vray has ever been written, and the materials for such do not now exist. 
From an early period he kept careful journals of his life and work, and from 
these a biography of great interest and value could have been compiled; 
but unfortunately all but two volumes were accidentally destroyed by fire 
in Australia many years ago. I recently discovered that two volumes in 
MacGillivray's neat and careful handwriting remained in the possession 
of the family of the late Dr. Paul MacGillivray, an eminent surgeon in 
Australia, son of the Professor, and having been allowed the privilege of 
perusing them, .... I shall make use of them freely in the following narra- 
tive." These relate to his residence and travels in the Hebrides, from Au- 
gust 3, 1817, to August 13, 1818, and to a journey in Scotland and England 
in 1819. Copious extracts are given from these precious volumes in the 
present work. 

William MacGillivray was born in 1796, in Aberdeen, the son of a sur- 
geon in the army, who lost his life at the battle of Corunna in January, 
1809, when William was thirteen years old. His boyhood days were spent 
with relatives on the island of Harris, returning to Aberdeen for his further 
education when twelve years old, and after finishing his course at King's 
College began the study of medicine. The fifty-six years of MacGilli- 
vray's life are divided in the present narrative into five periods. The first 
includes his boyhood on the island of Harris; the second, his university 
life at Aberdeen; the third, the "Edinburgh Period," from his marriage 
in 1820 to 1831; the fourth, his conservatorship at the Museum of the 
Edinburgh College of Surgeons (1831-1841), which covers the preparation 
of the earlier volumes of his 'History of British Birds' and his work with 
Audubon; the fifth, his professorship in Marischal College and University 
at Aberdeen (1841-1852). These five chapters form the first 113 pages 
of the present volume, and are followed by an appreciative chapter on his 
scientific work (pp. 114-158) by Professor Thomson, of Aberdeen Uni- 
versity, and by extracts from MacGillivray's works (pp. 159-214), illus- 
trative of his attainments as an all-round naturalist and his fine traits 
of character. The text is appropriately illustrated with twelve half-tone 
plates, eight of which are reproductions of some of MacGillivray's drawings 
of birds, now in the British Museum; others give a view of King's College, 
Aberdeen, of the gateway at Marischal College, a winter scene in the 
Chanoury, Old Aberdeen, where MacGillivray lived for a time, and a 
facsimile of a letter written by MacGillivray in 1834, now in the collection 
of Mr. Ruthven Deane, and loaned for use in the present connection. 



476 Recent Literature. [o"t. 

Although confessedly imperfect and fragmentary, this contribution 
to our knowledge of MacGillivray, "the greatest and most original orni- 
thologist of his day," will be welcomed as portraying the main features 
of his life and character — his unusual gifts and endearing personality. — 
J. A. A. 

Penard' s Birds of Guiana, Volume II.— As stated in our notice of the 
first volume (Auk, XXV, Oct., 1908, p. 491), this work l is based on first- 
hand knowledge gained by the authors during a twelve years' residence in 
Dutch Guiana, and who write of the birds of this interesting country from 
personal study of them in life. The present volume includes the species 
from the Toucans to the Thrushes or the Picariae and Passeres, of which 
a, dozen species are described (some of them tentatively) as new. The 
general character of the work is stated in our notice of the first volume. 
We congratulate the authors on the completion of this important contri- 
bution to tropical American ornithology, a work which must form a very 
useful handbook for the residents of Guiana.— J. A. A. 

Hartert's ' Die Vogel der palaarktischen Fauna. ' Heft VI. 2 — Part VI 
carries the work to the end of the Passeres and completes the first volume, 
for which is issued with this double part a title-page and index. It con- 
tains the last half of the author's Muscicapidae (= Sylviidae, Timeliidae, 
and Turdidae of authors), the Accentoridae, Troglodytidae, and Hirundin- 
idae, or Nos. 987-1240, beginning with the genus Turdus. The table of 
contents of Volume I occupies pp. xiii-xlix, with which is incorporated as 
footnotes critical references to the literature bearing on the ornithology 
of the ' Palaearctic Fauna,' from 1903 to the end of the year 1909. These 
notes deal with questions of synonymy and nomenclature as well as with 
the status and relationship of the many forms described since the publication 
of the first five parts of the ' Fauna.' Among the changes of nomenclature 
are Acanthis linaria in place of A. flammea; Muscicapa hypohuca (Pallas, 
1764) in place of M. atricapilla; Sylvia cantillans (Pallas, 1764) in place 
of <S. svbalpina. Many of the recently described forms are accepted, but 
a much larger number are consigned to synonymy. Nearly a dozen new 
subspecies are added in the text and footnotes of the present part, which 



1 De Vogels van | Guyana | (Surinam, Cayenne, en Demerara) | Door | Frederik 
Paul Penard | en Arthur Philip Penard | — | Tweede Deel | (Design] Uitgave van | 
Wed. P. P. Penard | Paramaribo — 8vo., pp. 587. with numerous half-tone text 
Illustrations. On the reverse of the title page It is stated that the first part was 
published in April, 1908, and the second in May, 1910. Neither volume is dated 
on the title page. 

- Die Vogel der palaarktischen Fauna. Systematische Ubersicht der in Europa, 
Nord-Aslen und der Mlttelmeerregion vorkommenden VSgel. Von Dr. Ernst 
Hartert. Heft VI (Doppelheft). Sette 641-832. Mit 10 Abbildungen. Berlin, 
Verlag von R. Frledlander und Sohn. Agents In London: Witherby & Co., 
326 High Holborn. Ausgegeben im Juni 1910. — 8vo, pp. xlil-xlix +641-834, 
fig. 125-134. Heft VI, 8s., postage 3d. Vol. I', 28s., postage Is. 8d.